Ted Cruz goes Full Metal Federalist on Colorado’s pot laws.

I’m fine with this.  Heck, ‘let the states decide’ is my go-to answer for these issues. We shouldn’t always test stuff in the states before we pass laws on the federal level, but it should be our default strategy.

In an one-on-one interview Saturday with The Denver Post, [Texas senator Ted Cruz] said he opposes legalization but declared that the U.S. Constitution allows “states to experiment.”

“I think on the question of marijuana legalization, we should leave it to the states,” Cruz said before addressing 6,000 GOP activists at the state GOP convention in Colorado Springs.”If it were me personally, voting on it in the state of Texas, I would vote against it.

“The people of Colorado have made a different decision. I respect that decision,” he continued. “And actually, it is an opportunity for the rest of the country to see what happens here in Colorado, what happens in Washington state, see the states implement the policies, and if it works well, other states may choose to follow. If it doesn’t work well other states may choose not to follow.”

By the way, I understand that there is a big argument out there about how safe marijuana is, really. So I’m not going to tell anybody that they’re wrong for opposing CO/WA’s laws. I’m just a guy who defaults to federalism on a lot of stuff.

Moe Lane

[UPDATE]: Must have highlighted/deleted some text.  Anyway, H/T: @sahilkapur.


Bernie Sanders panders to pot smokers.

I ALMOST used a mean pun about ‘burnouts,’ but I refrained.

So apparently the man is trying to run for President, after all: “After calling for an end to the federal prohibition of marijuana last week, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders introduced a bill Wednesday to remove marijuana from the federal government’s list of Schedule I drugs.” As the Buzzfeed article notes, this varies from previous medical marijuana Senate bills in that it would leave in-state marijuana use legality up to the individual states; you still couldn’t sell it across state lines, but it would get the feds out of the business of Colorado marijuana sales. Although ‘would’ might be the wrong word to use; I’m not sure that English has a word that can convey the utter impossibility of this legislation ever making it to Barack Obama’s desk for him to veto. Which is a shame. (more…)


All y’all understand that Bernie Sanders is not enamored of the marijuana, yes?

Came up in context to this:

Here’s the thing: Bernie Sanders ain’t that big on weed. (more…)


Mother Jones(!) warns us of the ecological evils of… marijuana production.

So I got ‘turned on,’ as the kids say*, to this article by Mother Jones on the ecological menace found in marijuana production – what?  No, seriously, that’s what the article is about.  Here, take a look:

To meet demand, researchers say, the acreage dedicated to marijuana grows in the Emerald Triangle [an area in California known for illegal pot growing] has doubled in the past five years. Like the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s, this “green rush,” as it is known locally, has brought great wealth at a great cost to the environment. Whether grown in bunkers lit with pollution-spewing diesel generators, or doused with restricted pesticides and sown on muddy, deforested slopes that choke off salmon streams during the rainy season, this “pollution pot” isn’t exactly high quality, or even a quality high. “The cannabis industry right now is in sort of the same position that the meatpacking industry was in before The Junglewas written by Upton Sinclair,” says Stephen DeAngelo, the founder of Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, a large medical marijuana dispensary. “It simply isn’t regulated, and the upshot is that nobody really knows what’s in their cannabis.”



Feds inflict a taxation Catch-22 on marijuana businesses.

Just as a reminder: national Democrats are committed members of the War on Some Drugs.

Legal marijuana businesses without bank accounts are unfairly assessed a 10 percent penalty on federal employee withholding taxes they are required to pay electronically but are forced to pay in cash, according to a lawsuit challenging the practice.

That’s because the Internal Revenue Service requires all businesses to pay the quarterly tax by bank wire, an impossibility for hundreds of medical and recreational marijuana shops nationwide that are unable to obtain banking services.

And rather than waive the penalty for cash-only businesses paying the tax on time, the IRS advised the companies to avoid the assessment by using techniques that amount to money-laundering, according to a petition filed in U.S. Tax Court.



Governor Mark Dayton (D, Minnesota): Look, just go illegally buy the pot, OK? #marijuana

I do not want to get into the merits of medical marijuana legalization: there are people of good will and good heart on both sides of the issue, and there is no easy solution (if there was, we’d have implemented it). But, no matter what our opinions are on the legalization of pot, surely we can all agree that an elected official should not be telling the desperate mothers of cancer patients that they should enlist the services of a pusher?

Parents in support of legalizing medical marijuana say Gov. Mark Dayton urged them to buy pot illegally on Minnesota streets to help their severely sick children.

At an extremely emotional press conference Wednesday, the parents called Dayton’s suggestion offensive. Struggling to hold back tears, the parents accused the governor of using them as political cover, so that he might to look good while opposing the medical marijuana bill they sought.



Joe Biden determined to harsh your mellow.

Guess what?  Notorious War on Some Drugs warrior Joe Biden ain’t planning to change his spots:

The Obama Administration is not pushing marijuana legalization on the federal level, Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday in an exclusive interview with TIME.

Just weeks after President Barack Obama told the New Yorker that the drug is no more dangerous than alcohol, Biden said the Administration supports smarter enforcement, but not outright legalization. “I think the idea of focusing significant resources on interdicting or convicting people for smoking marijuana is a waste of our resources,” Biden told TIME in an interview aboard an Amtrak train on the way to an event in Philadelphia. “That’s different than [legalization]. Our policy for our Administration is still not legalization, and that is [and] continues to be our policy.”



Rick Perry looking at how to stop putting potheads in jail.

It’s a touchy subject, to be sure

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday that he’s for the decriminalization of marijuana use — not legalization, but the softening of punishment for marijuana users in the border state.

Perry made the comment during an international panel on drug legalization while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

His spokesman confirmed that Perry is staunchly opposed to legalization of marijuana because of medical issues, but is committed to policies to lower the punishment for its use in order to keep smokers out of jail.



Tweet of the Day, Isn’t @barackobama Committing A Federal Crime In This Picture? edition. [UPDATED]

The answer, by the way, is “Yes.”

Since David Plouffe is so concerned about criminality, and all.




Colorado gearing up to *jack* up cost of recreational marijuana? (and added evil question)

Oh, wow, man, total bummer:

A draft bill floating around the Capitol late this week suggests that a new ballot question on pot taxes should repeal recreational pot in the state constitution if voters don’t approve 15 percent excise taxes on retail pot and a new 15 percent marijuana sales tax. Those would be in addition to regular state and local sales taxes.

Bolding mine.  But, hey, that reminds me: if you can buy pot legally in Colorado, will that mean that companies can advertise it on Amazon.com?  As you can see here, Amazon already does third-party site advertising for booze; and, hey, the stuff is in fact legal in Colorado now.  Man, that’s going to give the US Postal Service fits…


United Nations wants Feds to go after state pot laws.

I keep getting sent this link, God knows why:

A United Nations-based drug agency urged the United States government on Tuesday to challenge the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington, saying the state laws violate international drug treaties.

The International Narcotics Control Board made its appeal in an annual drug report. It called on Washington, D.C., to act to “ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties on its entire territory.”

I mean, I’m sure that I don’t know why people might suggest that this would have ever been a topic of more than academic (undergrad) interest to me, ya, you betcha. (more…)


Obama’s War on Some Drugs ticking along… nicely.

If you can call it that.

I assume that Radley Balko was being sarcastic when he wrote this:

I was so very excited about all that sensible drug policy we were going to get out of President Obama in his second term. I mean sure, Obama had spent a good deal of his first term waging more raids on medical marijuana clinics in four years than Bush had waged in eight. And his administration defended DEA agents who point guns at the heads of children during drug raids. And his appointees continued to defend the carnage in Mexico as merely the consequence of good, sensible drug policy.

Sure. There was all of that. But there were also all of these progressive pundits who kept telling drug war reformers that they should go ahead and vote for Obama anyway . . . because they just knew, or at least they were pretty sure, or at least they had heard rumors, that maybe, possibly, Obama would turn the corner and show some leadership.


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